Nagaland has no ownership right over Dimapur: BJP MP
Dimapur, July 17: In a development that is likely to create tension between Assam and Nagaland, an Assam BJP Member of Parliament and a Dimasa organization have demanded that Dimapur, the commercial centre of Nagaland, be “returned” to Assam. At the root of the demand for Dimapur, there is indication of a united opposition to the “Nagalim” demand by a Naga outfit.
Dimapur is one of the fastest growing cities not only in the Northeast region but in the country. The city is the commercial hub of Nagaland, Manipur and parts of Assam and generates crores of rupees in revenue.
After Dimasa National Council demanded merger of Dimapur with Assam on Monday and submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard, BJP MP from Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency, Ram Prasad Sharma on Tuesday demanded that Nagaland should immediately return Dimapur to Assam “as it has no legal ownership over the commercial town.”
A report in the Northeast Now quoted Sharma, who is also a lawyer, as having said, “Lease is a temporary arrangement for a fixed period. Lease cannot give full ownership right. And Nagaland has no ownership right on Dimapur, they should return it immediately.”
He requested Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to claim the territory of present Dimapur district of Nagaland as the territory of Assam. “It was a mauza of Jorhat district. We have to take it back from Nagaland. We should claim the territory of Dimapur,” Sharma said.
According to Sharma, Dimapur was leased out to Naga Hills for 30 year in 1918 for construction of railway lines. But after the lease period Nagaland continued to occupy the land and even made Dimapur a district ‘on its own’.
“Dimapur was once upon a time mauza of Assam. But the Assam government forgot the issue of Dimapur. Probably they might have lost the documents also. Nagaland made it a district and now NSCN is trying to include the nearby areas of Dimapur in the proposed Nagalim,” Sharma added.
Sharma narrated how in 2016 Nagaland government tried to install entry gate in Assam territory at Bokajan. “I raised the issue then and said Nagaland has no right over our land. Immediately they shifted the gate to Chumukidima,” he added.
Sharma even wrote to Prime Minister on the issue and submitted documents pertaining to his claim. But unfortunately it has been more than a year the PMO has not responded to his letter yet, the report said.
The BJP MP was of the opinion that his claim on Dimapur would have no impact on the Naga talks as it is ‘the issue between the Assam and Nagaland governments.’
Earlier, on Monday the Dimasa National Council (DNC) served an ultimatum to the Centre demanding return of Dimapur to the proposed Hirimbapur autonomous state.
A four-member DNC delegation led by president Dhironjay Naiding and general secretary Mrinal Kanti Ponglo conveyed to the Home Minister that the Naga rebels were committing atrocities in some of Dimasa’s former territory. They also expressed their opposition to the demand of Nagalim comprising land of Assam.
“This move of Nagalim will be resisted at all costs by the DNC. We will not lose a square inch of our land by the aggressive encroachers and the DNC will resist the move tooth and nail,” they said.
The DNC also reiterated their 10-point charter of demands calling for setting up one administrative unit under the name of Hirimbapur autonomous state under Article 244(A) by carving out the entire North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (Dima Hasao) and including three historic Dimasa kingdom capitals of Dimapur, Maibang and Khaspur areas adjoining Karbi Anglong, Hojai, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts of Assam in the proposed autonomous state.
The Dimasa Public Organization Nagaland (DPON) today said they are not in knowledge about the existence of the so called Dimasa National Council and the demand put forth to the Government of India.
The DPON stated that the DNC has been reportedly formed by a few individuals without having the mandate of the people as per reports from Dimasa frontal organizations of Assam.
The DPON strongly refuted and condemned the allegations of atrocities stated to have been committed on the Dimasas of Nagaland by Naga rebels, which it said is “nothing but a sinister design to create animosity between indigenous tribes”.
The DPON appealed to one and all to avoid misunderstanding on the issue and maintain the age-old cordial relationship between tribes. (Page News Services)